The castle was built in 1295 by Roger Mortimer de Chirk, uncle of Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March as part of King Edward I's chain of fortresses across the north of Wales. It guards the entrance to the Ceiriog Valley. It was the administrative centre for the Marcher Lordship of Chirkland. It's as one of 5 medieval castles on the Welsh Marches was to keep the Welsh under English control and rule.
The castle was bought by Sir Thomas Myddelton in 1593 for £5,000 (approx. £11 million as of 2008). His son, Thomas Myddelton of Chirk Castle was a Parliamentarian during the English Civil War, but became a Royalist during the 'Cheshire rising' of 1659 led by George Booth, 1st Baron Delamer. Following the Restoration, his son became Sir Thomas Myddelton, 1st Baronet of Chirke.
The castle is now a Grade 1 listed building and is owned and managed by the National Trust and open to the public.